I have a very good friend and mentor named Don Ward that has built an influential empire around himself merely through the exchange of FAVOR. I had never heard the term used in this context before meeting Don, but it has always been a philosophy I have adhered to all of my life without even realizing it. In the legal field the courting of favor can go a long way in using the news media to influence public support for one side or the other in a court case. Likewise, the exchange of favors can go a long way in building a community of supporters that can lift your business to new heights.
At first glance, it is a bit surprising when you see how much some powerful and prominent businesses in every community bend every effort to court public favor. Almost any community of significant size in the country has a business section in the paper. Subscribers to the local news see their ability to stay in touch with what the strongest and up and coming businesses in town are doing as an important part of their business awareness.
Sometimes it’s good to read the business news in your local paper both for information and with an eye on the question “Did the business being discussed work to get this article printed about them in the paper?” In some cases, it is blatantly clear that the business went to great lengths to get noticed. Many businesses actually employ public relations and advertising professionals to tailor how they will be viewed in the press and to court public favor by romancing the right kind of press coverage for the business.
There are some solid business reasons behind such aggressive work being done by the business community to have good press coverage. On the surface, it might seem like the intent of managing public approval for a business is just a desire to be a good citizen and so that public opinion is favorable, and everybody thinks of that business as a bunch of ‘good guys. But the motivations for courting public favor for a business are far more complex and entrepreneurial than that.
- A good reputation means better sales. Public opinion is a funny thing. If a retail company gets a bad reputation in a community, it will have a tremendous impact on their bottom line. But the business that is well regarded at the neighborhood level will be one that sees strong customer loyalty.
- A strong reputation makes for better business dealings. Running a business means entering into dozens of business relationships, making deals and drafting contracts with other businesses in town. If your business is well regarded in the public eye, that will reflect favorably when you need a deal to fall your way at the negotiating table.
- Investors like to see a good public image in a business. Investors like to know that the business they are interested in partnering with will be able to complete its business goals and endure year in and year out. Part of that stability means that the business can live up to its mission statement and its statement of values. When the business the investor is interested in has a strong public image, that reflects that this is a business that conducts itself with integrity, is interested in the public good as well as private profit and is looking for the long-term gain as well as the short-term profitability. These values translate directly into dollars in an investor situation.
- A strong relationship with city and state government is important to long-term business health. Many businesses seek concessions or to enter into a relationship with local government, so they can have a clear path to get building permits or conduct other business that impacts the public good. A local or state government can be a business’s best friend or stop your projects in their tracks and keep them stopped. But the thing that pleases the political world is public opinion and the public good. So, if your business has a good public profile, that translates to votes for the politically minded people at city hall. That means influence which can help a business go a long way toward completing its long-range plans.
- A good public image impacts recruitment. When you put an advertisement in the local paper to recruit talent, how you are viewed by those looking for jobs will directly influence if they will respond to your recruitment efforts. Many a business got a bad reputation locally and saw dismal responses to recruitment efforts which can mean a less talented staff and poor performance of the business in general.
These are solid reasons for a business to put some energy and capital into courting a good reputation in town. Whether that means a strong representation among industry leaders in support of economic growth or on social side supporting a United Way weekend or holding blood drives once a month…the business that has a reputation for reaching out to the community will be a business that prospers.
Danna is a Business Growth Strategist and CEO of MarketAtomy, LLC. Her passion is working with small first stage entrepreneurs to ensure that they start out on the right foot and stay on the path to financial freedom. Known as the Business Birthing Specialist, Danna understands the intricacies involved in starting and running a successful business. As an intricate component ingrained into her client’s business structure, she works diligently to keep her clients accountable and on track to fulfilling their success goals.
A graduate of the University of Central Florida’s College of Business. She brings more than 35 years of strategic planning experience in business, marketing and business development both nationally and internationally.
Danna is not only a professional business growth strategist but has worked as an International Strategist within the country of Brazil, is a public speaker and #1 Best Selling Author on Amazon with “Success From The Heart” and “Journey to the Stage.” She also has published her signature book “MarketAtomy: What To Expect When Expecting A Business.”